Whether you are working, avoiding work, balancing work with care for others or looking for work, chances are your home office might not be as productive as you’d like. Here are a few small changes you can make to clear the clutter and give yourself the physical and mental space to create.
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1. Collect all your paper in one place
Paper is often one of the biggest culprits when it comes to a disorganized desk, so we like to start by collecting any floating papers in one place.
2. Sort through the growing stack
Next, we’re going to take a few minutes to go through each item in the stack and categorize the contents. The following categories have worked well for us in the past, but feel free to adjust as you see fit.
- Action — These are the items you need to deal with before you can file or recycle them. As you come across them, try to write down the action you need to take on a to-do list.
- Recycle — This is an easy one—anything you don’t need should go in this pile. Be sure to shred anything with sensitive information.
- Digitize — This category should include anything you don’t need a physical copy of, but don’t want to get rid of quite yet, like a business card.
- File — Today, it’s very rare to come across something you have to keep a hard copy of, so try to remember that most documents and papers can be filed away digitally for future reference. But everyone is different, and there are times where the hard copy matters. Stack these papers together and file them accordingly.
3. Create an inbox
This might sound old-school, but having a defined space where you place incoming paperwork or other items you might need to deal with will help keep clutter at bay. Try to create a habit of sorting through your inbox at least once a week. A bin or basket is ideal because it doesn’t take long to fill up, so you’re less likely to ignore the growing pile.
4. Use trays as a landing zone for clutter
In the same way a physical inbox helps contain your paperwork, a small tray on your desk can be used to corral items that need to be kept handy. Putting your phone, paper clips, and pens in a set of Nesting Trays will immediately make the space feel calm and collected.
5. Declutter and store your supplies
Free up space on your desk by only keeping the things you access daily. Everything else can go in a desk drawer. If you don’t have access to drawers, pick up a set of Small Bins with lids to keep things on hand but out of sight.
6. Elevate your laptop or monitor
Elevating your computer screen is better for your posture, and it also provides you with additional real estate. If you are working from home temporarily, consider using a set of Shelf Risers that you can repurpose for the pantry once you’re back in your office.